It’s been four years since I gave birth to my second child. But today, I remember vividly every detail that taught me an unforgettable lesson. It taught me how to give thanks irrespective of the circumstances I might be entangled with.

I was hospitalized a month before my due date. My water had broken unexpectedly. And as I lay on the hospital bed, the room of my mind was clouded with questions. I wanted God to tell me why I wasn’t pre-informed about my ordeal. I should have seen this coming in a dream or heard a Rhema through the sermon. Why didn’t God just tell me I would be having a baby before its due time?

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I was jolted out of my deep thoughts when a woman at 23-weeks gestation, bleeding profusely was rolled into the same room as I was with two other women. The doctors tried all they could to save her life, but five minutes later, she died. Rumors in the room had it that she was taking a concoction recommended by her grandmother who had taken the same during her childbearing days. But unfortunately, it got her killed.

I was gripped with fear. I stopped asking why and started praying instead.

The day came when I was taken to the operating room to have a caesarian section. Questions began to resurface in my mind again. This was not the deal I had made in my prayers, I thought to myself. I wanted a natural birth. Didn’t God say we will get anything we ask for? I thought again.

While I was thinking to myself, I heard panic in the operating room. The doctors were doing all they could to save the life of another woman who had just been operated on because she was bleeding.

I stopped complaining and started praying again.

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As soon as my child was born, she was taken to the intensive care unit. I trudged my way slowly to the ICU two days later just to have a glimpse of her. As I saw her and the different instruments strapped to her body, tears filled my eyes. She had an infection and also malaria. But this time, I didn’t dare to ask God why because behind me was a woman wailing who had just lost her twins and then another child who was born prematurely being prepped to be taken for heart surgery.

I was lost for words. Here I was crying that I didn’t have shoes, but now I had seen people without legs.

Then this scripture readily came to my mind, “In all things give thanks.” At that same moment, a story I had read on Facebook filled my thoughts. It was the story of a blind boy, holding his hat in one hand and a sign in the other hand that read: Please help I am blind.

Only a handful of people dropped some coins into his hat until a man walked by and erased what the boy had written and wrote something else. No sooner had the man left than the hat began to fill up with more coins. The man who had changed the sign came back, and the blind boy perceiving his footsteps asked him “What did you write that made people give more?” The man answered, “I only wrote what you wrote in a different way. I wrote: Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.” The two signs were the same but one was more effective. One simply said the boy was blind and the other said people were lucky not to be blind.

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I got on my knees and began to give thanks. I left the hospital two weeks after with my bundle of joy. She hit all the growth milestones my husband and I had been afraid would be difficult for her as a preterm baby. She is one smart baby. She asks questions too profound for a child her age. God works wonders! I haven’t stopped telling other women to give thanks for every little thing they have because you don’t want to know what it feels like to be on the other side.

Awunli Eghosasere

I am a writer and empowerment coach. I teach millennial women how to navigate the professional side of life effectively. You can find me on Instagram @womanupwithawunli